(1) It’s been a custom in Indian culture since olden times that whenever we visit the homes of others, we leave our footwear outside. This is due to the fact of showing courtesy, humility and respect to the householder whose place we are visiting. Similarly such a custom is necessarily followed, when we visit a place of worship like a temple, gurudwara, mosque or many other places of worship. As is customary, the abode of God is considered holy and its sanctity must be preserved. Walking barefoot into a temple indicates reverence, respect and devotion. Scientifically by leaving the footwear outside, we do not carry the dirt and germs inside, into the house. The bacteria present in the germs, also brings in negative energy from the outside into the house, thus polluting the whole household and lessening the effect of the positive energy present in the house.
(2) One of the most prominent custom in the oriental countries such as Thailand ,(formerly called ‘Syam’, Cambodia, Indonesia, Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius etc.) has been the folding of hands or bowing down in reverence(Japan etc) as a mark of respect, greeting each other or common courtesy . We in India have always folded our hands signifying ‘Namaste’, that says “I bow before you”. When we follow this ritual of folding our hands and simultaneously bowing down a little, we display the spiritual significance of reducing our bloated ‘Egos’ in front of others. As the feeling of ‘humility’ is a part and parcel of our Indian culture , it goes well with the ‘Namaste’ gesture that conveys the message ”May our Minds meet “, indicated by the ‘folding of palms together and placing them before our chest’. This action of holding ‘hands with palms folded together’ is called ‘ANJALI MUDRA’. Both our hands and palms represent the positive and negative forces and bringing them together, affirms as well as confirms in our minds and soul-the unity of the world. The ‘bowing of the head ‘symbolizes, the extending of our love, affection, respect and warmth, towards our fellow human beings. The real importance in bringing our palms together in Namaste mudra, is that we close the circuitry of our human body’s Energy and prevent the trade of energies, eventually leading to ‘the building up of our Karmas’. When we do Namaste, we feel the energy sources in our bodies surging ahead, amalgamating together. So too, the position of our Elbows, during the Namaste ritual, make sour bodies fitter as it’s a kind of yogic posture.
(3) The ritual of applying ‘Tikal’ or sandalwood paste in the form of different religions symbols, on our foreheads symbolizes, the proverbial ‘Third Eye’ of ‘knowledge’. A red or sandalwood color tilak symbol, immediately draws our attention towards the other person’s face, who is wearing it on his forehead or between the bridge of the nose. Similarly on the foreheads of typical Indian women, it becomes a ‘center of attraction’ by adding a certain grace and charm to the ‘Classical Indian Woman’s beauty’. ‘Bindis’ or colorful Dots, have also become the rage amongst women of the world today and is considered to be a ‘beauty spot of feminism’. The most important aspect, according to the YOGA SHASTRA, is that at the juncture or meeting point of the eyebrows, lies the AjnaChakra, a ‘plexus’ which is one of the halts, along with the serpent power or ‘Kundalini ‘that is said to travel from the ‘Mooladhara’ at the base point of the Spinal cord, to the Head. For attaining the very hard ‘Samadhi state’ or ‘Psychic-Trance’, one is asked to concentrate on the specific area, where the ‘Tilak’ is applied. The breathing process or the passing of the breath is immediately stalled or stopped , bringing with it the immediate and automatic withdrawal of the senses, as if it is being a center of ‘Occult Power ‘or supernatural Tantric power center. Red Kumkum, too that women apply nowadays due to the toxicity of vermillion powder, has a peculiar effect, in fact the ‘red color’ is considered being a stimulation of Rajas or rich energy.
(4) In India, the ritual of getting the ‘Ears and nose pierced’ has got a certain religious connotation. Right from the Vedic times, it was customary among the rulers and the knights, to get their ears pierced, at quite an early age. Even today, in Rajasthan this custom is avidly followed by most of the caste and clans. In the girls, it is considered an essential ritual to get their ears and noses pierced so that they are able to wear earrings and nose rings, right from an early age, as during the time of ‘Hindu Marriages’ it is considered essential for the bride to wear traditional big nose rings and earrings that are quite heavy and costly. There is also a scientific element to the tradition and custom as it is said that the piercings improves the eyesight, hearing and inhalation process in human beings. Nowadays it has also become a fad to have multiple piercings on the ears for boys and girls as well as having piercings and tattoos all over the body. As the people are becoming more materialistic and splurging on ornaments and jewellaries, the ritual of women wearing jewels, earrings and nose rings has come to be associated with the long life of their families and their prosperity.
(5) It is the belief of the people that ‘Brahma Muharata ‘(the time between 4 am and 5.30 am), according to the Hindu Shastra, is a very auspicious time for spiritual practices. The recitation and incantation of the ‘VEDAS’, PURANAS, SHASTRAS and other holy religious scriptures were undertaken and still continue to be recited and incarnated, during this time of the morning. Apart from that doing YOGA and performing the various ‘Asanas’ in the morning that rejuvenates our bodies and soul for the hectic day ahead and adoption of various ‘Meditation techniques’ that helps to awaken the sharpness of our brains and improves the capacity of the mind. The VEDAS claim that rising at that time and performing these tasks every day, will make us free of physical and mental disorders. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian Medical Science, considers that the air is recharged by the positive energy of moonlight and enriched by the oxygen from the plants that makes it, the best perfect tonic for the good health of all human beings. This period is also called ‘AMRIT BELA’ meaning ‘immortal nectar of lifetime’. The Brahma muhurat air at this time contains a healthy mix of 41% Oxygen, 55% Nitrogen and a mere 4% Carbon Dioxide. So this is the most ‘Appropriate time for recharging our battery of life. ‘With the break of dawn and sunrise, human activities start shattering the peace of the atmosphere, making concentration on spiritual pursuits impossible.
(6) People offer ‘Pushpanjali’ or flowers to God. Nothing can match the flowers in their sublime qualities. Right from Birth till Death, flowers are an essential part of Indian ornamentation or piousness. Flowers also signify the process of ongoing creation, fertility, reproduction and being the symbols of the formation of the seeds. The feeling of obeisance, respect, prayers and benediction are all but expressed with flowers. Garlands of flowers are used to adorn the images, idols and statues of Gods and Goddesses, during functions, as bouquets, as a symbol of unending love and devotion between one affectionate person to another showing an expression of Love and tenderness. The linking of flowers to divinity or the offering as ‘pushpanjali’, are a part of the spiritual evolution of man, that has withstood the ‘sands of time’, since time immemorial and still going strong as people have strong spiritual and religious beliefs and most of our festivals have religious significance and based on them. This custom has really without the rigors of time right from the Vedic age to the Modern age.
(7) The ritual of performing ‘Achmaana Kriya’, during the morning time by the householder or the woman of the house to appease the ‘Surya Devta’ or taking water in the ‘cupped palm of the hand’ in small measures and drinking in small handfuls has been proven medically to be healthy as compared to water drunk by glassful or in larger quantities. The logic behind that drinking water in smaller amounts acts as a catalyst in changing the saliva production rate. Excess saliva produced helps in the digestion of the food and melts the hard morsels.
(8) While performing the rituals of the community chanting of the ‘shlokas, mantras, dohas’ and the wordings of the Vedas together by scores of people or disciples, the ‘vibrations, created by the scores of voice in sync with one tune of chanting syllabic words produces expanding circular currents which creates a positive atmosphere full of good vibes for everybody. When the sound vibrations come in contact with a liquid or if the liquid is poured over certain figurines, then they charge the liquid with a greater power as a result of which the liquids becomes sanctified. Also different liquids acquire different potency, when they come into contact with stone or metal; for example Brass or Copper and are beneficial to those who partake of these, after the rituals are over. Similarly at homes people drink water stored in copper or brass containers or pots, even till today in spite of the presence of stainless steel that has taken over our lives of today, to a very great extent.
(9) Normally, a menstruating woman would not be allowed to cook food, enter the kitchen or perform religious rituals during her ‘periods’, in traditional households. She is gently isolated, in the household where she takes rest in her room and is given relief from household chores. During this period as she is in a ‘delicate state of mind’ and very touchy, getting easily provoked or irritated. This custom and tradition has stayed to make the family responsible and sharing, when we used to have large ‘Joint families’ to the present ‘Nuclear families.’ A thorough study of the ancient Indian culture & traditions as well as research into the scientific rationale behind the rituals and their importance, led me to the whole new concept of “Saral Vaastu” different from the traditional Vaastu Shastra. While there are similarities between the two systems of Vaastu, the practices suggested under Saral Vaastu are practical, easy to follow and scientific in nature. They bring in positive impact, inducing positive and beneficial implications to the entire household or establishment, within a very short period of time. The main aim of bringing out this book is to address the needs of a common man needs and wishes to lead a successful, peaceful and prosperous life. Many experts have written varied books on Vaastu and its implications with usage that compelled many a householder to spend lots of money on renovation, reconstruction and alteration done to their already present or recently purchased property, after reading and implementing from the general books on Vaastu available in abundance in the market.
The main crux of the problem is that nowadays the Vaastu experts and their books promote and suggest blindly, certain structural changes in the name of Vaastu, leading to unnecessary expenditure on the householder. As the structure is disturbed, it causes disturbances in the surroundings. By using resources like steel, cement, limestone, clay, iron etc. there is still greater demand for all the natural resources, thereby creating an imbalance in nature In contrast to this, Saral Vaastu suggests and involves, no structural changes. Instead, certain materials are used to substitute for the breaking- up of rooms and structures, for the rectification of structural defects. Cost-wise, it substantially minimizes the burden on the person or householder seeking the required change, in order to usher in significant changes for the better, adding prosperity and good times to his life. Precaution should be taken that the common people are not taken for a ride by these kind of pseudo Vaastu experts whose only aim and objective, is to ensnare and milk more and more money out of the unsuspecting simpletons householders, belonging to the common middle class.